Hard Head catfish

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by KansasKatter, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    While we were fishing in Corpus Christi Bay and Aransas Bay last month, we caught a ton of what our captain called "hard heads". These looked like ordinary ol' channel cat to me. I started to take my first one off the hood when he freaked out and yelled don't touch him! He would only handle them with pliers, and killed every one of them that we would catch, all the while cursing them. My question is this, are they different from Channel Cat? I did grab a few of them and took them off the hook myself, just like a normal channel cat, and they left a considerable slime on my hand and my line, but I could not tell any other difference. He said you can't eat them, and nothing else would eat them so they were no good fot bait. Said they were nothing more than "trash fish"

    What is the deal? Is there a difference?
     
  2. knapperheadmatt

    knapperheadmatt New Member

    Messages:
    129
    State:
    texas
    my experience is that this happens all too frequently. i see guys throwing fish up on the bank to die because they're "trash fish." if you find your catching hardheads then its time to move. they do look like channels but supposedly are not good table fare. i think the guy was worried about you getting finned, they have a toxin on thier fins and the fin has a barb on the end that likes to pull muscle tissue out of your hand.it can get pretty ugly but i always handle them the same as a channel and have only been finned by the real small ones. it just stings and itches alot. just remember to move if you start catching hard heads and you'll soon find the redfish.
    matt
     

  3. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    Thanks Matt, Capt. Mike's rule was "if we catch 3 hardheads, it's time to move" and sure enough, any time we caught 3, you would hear the boat start before he even came up to help you with the fish! LOL

    That was my first Red trip, I am deifinately coming back though, the Reds are the closest experience I have had to flat head in the way they bite and pull, but you get way more action and bites than most flathead trips! Man that was some of the funnest fishing I hae ever done! I would like to come back in the Fall for the big ones, but not sure if I can make the trip down there and still afford a guide, with gas at $3.00/gallon by then.:angry:
     
  4. knapperheadmatt

    knapperheadmatt New Member

    Messages:
    129
    State:
    texas
    drive down and rent a kayak. i'll meet you there and show you some good red and trout spots. kayak rental would be 50-100 bucks for the whole day.i always camp so it will be free or 8 bucks at goose island state park.
    redfish in a kayak is a blast, you can go for quite a ride.
    matt
     
  5. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    WOW! That would be a trip! My son and I just might do that, something to consider. We had a blast, you should see the smile on his face when he hooked his first Red. We probably caught about 80 trout too, they were fun, but just not the power and size as the Reds. I could not imagine one of the "big" Reds. I am going to do some real thinking on this!
     
  6. Ol Man

    Ol Man New Member

    Messages:
    3,170
    State:
    Illinois
    Don't know if this will be of any help, but may be worth a peek...
    http://www.rodnreel.com/gulffish/gulffish.asp?cmd=view&FishID=130
     
  7. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    Thanks Ol' Man, very informative!
     
  8. photocat

    photocat New Member

    Messages:
    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    The site Ol Man gave is a good one.. they aren't the same as Channels but they are basically a saltwater mix between channels and bullheads... They are just like bullheads and will get into an area and feed aggressively not letting many fish get to the baits... They have the same stereotypes that catfish do in freshwater... just 10 times worse cause noone really fishes for them in saltwater and will defend them... The barbs w/ a toxin on them... not really true, its no different then the channels or any other freshwater cat... no toxins just hurts like hell when you get stuck...
     
  9. catseeman

    catseeman New Member

    Messages:
    1,189
    State:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    All catfish that I know of have a toxin gland at there fins. that is why you bleed so much when horned or cut by the fins. Channel cat fins cut with all the rays not just the big main one.
     
  10. laidbck111

    laidbck111 New Member

    I think I'll keep my distance for now but theres always the next time.
     
  11. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    I just assumed it was the saltwater that made it sting more, when Mike was describing the pain to me.
     
  12. toddrod

    toddrod New Member

    Messages:
    82
    State:
    Vacherie,LA
    Hardheads catfish are edible but do not have much flavor and the meat comes out kind of rubbery when cooked.
     
  13. loki1982

    loki1982 New Member

    Messages:
    420
    State:
    Texas
    There is a toxin. Its not toxic to the point of getting sick though. It feels like a bee sting. The longer the barb stays in the more you will feel it. And some people react stronger to it than others. My first few sticks were when I was young like 10-15 and I didnt really notice much of a difference. Then around 16 or so I got stuck good and my hand went numb.
     
  14. breadboy

    breadboy New Member

    Messages:
    431
    State:
    North Carolina
    80 trout! That is alot. I went bayfishing here in north carolina and we caught around 20 reds, 5 speckled seatrout, 3 weakfish (gray seatrout), and a few bluefish this spring. I do like reds, they give a good pull. i'm going to kansas in about a week, and will go fish milford lake.
     
  15. uptoolate

    uptoolate New Member

    Messages:
    124
    State:
    Canyon Lake, Texas
    First fish I ever caught was a hardhead, and I learned from that experience. I've never been stuck because I know better. When you catch a channel it will flop a little and get still. It's cousin the hardhead is a violent fish and is unpredictable out of the water. Never touch one. My dad took one off the hook one time and my brother went to touch it (as a little kid) so my dad hauled off and kicked it off the dock. He got stuck right in between his big toe and index(?) toe. He became very sick and it hurt bad, though it wore off in a couple hours.

    The trick is, if you get stuck, rub the wound on the belly of the fish. There is substance in the slime that counteracts the venom. I've heard it was for breeding purposes, but I don't know. I never believed it until my brother got stuck when trying to take one out of the castnet. He didn't believe it either but the pain in his finger was very real and he was willing to try anything. It worked almost instantly.

    As with any catfish, water quality relates directly to the taste and it is a matter of opinion as to whether or not you will like it.
     
  16. liquidblue

    liquidblue New Member

    Messages:
    36
    State:
    louisiana
    Man, I just moved to Thibodaux in south lousisiana and i hear the same thing about the red fish. They are pound of pound the hardest fighting fish there is. I can catch the hell out of catfish, but know nothing about reds. but would like to learn. Pm me anyone who is in the area and is board and would like to go fishing and knows how to catch these fish. I have super bads ass surf fishing gear.
     
  17. da-cajun-angla

    da-cajun-angla New Member

    Messages:
    221
    State:
    louisiana
  18. uptoolate

    uptoolate New Member

    Messages:
    124
    State:
    Canyon Lake, Texas
    Man, I didn't know they actually ate mud. Figures. Despite that, I think that site glorifies them. It says they eat mud and bones, then says they are good eating...